Have a listen to 'Tangled Up In Blue'
Bad Dylan – Blood on the Trucks
Release Date: 24th October 2016
One Step Outside Records
So, a collection of Bob Dylan songs covered by a selection of musicians primarily in punk bands is not quite what I was expecting to hear this year. It’s not something I would have wished for either considering I know next nothing about Bob Dylan. But this is a charity album to raise money for Skate Pal.
My interest really sparked from the names of musicians and bands that have been involved with this project. The likes of Alex Wonk from Wonk Unit, members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, Roughneck Riot, Revenge of the Psychotronic Man and No Ta are just some names that I’ve had the pleasure of covering in 2016 that have had a hand in this release, among other great acts in the UK’s underground punk scene.
The first vibe I pick up from this release is the gritty tone, it’s raw skate punk at it’s dirtiest. The opening track is a fun version of Dylan‘s ‘It Aint Me Babe’, featuring Deeker from former Scottish punks, Uniforms. Kicking off with some “woah” chants, the energy is high from the off with fast distorted riffs and equally distorted vocals. It’s a pretty entertaining sing-along. Nosebleed‘s Elliot fills in with some erratic vocals for the high tempo follow-up ‘Seven Curses‘, keeping the high energy flowing.
The gritty, punk with chirpy vocal melodies atmosphere continue for ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’, featuring Alex from No Ta and ‘Idiot Wind’ featuring Matty Humphries and Caitlin Costello from Roughneck Riot. More sing along hits flow. It’s Alex Wonk‘s ska riffed ‘Lay Lady Lay’ that changes things up for a chilled out number with fiddly guitar licks. Acid Drop‘s Ben Hannah, kicks things up a notch for ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ by unleashing a hardcore punk number, heavier riffs and more aggressive manner.
The styles start to differ more as comedic, acoustic singer-songwriter, Captain Hotknives sings an acoustic version of ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ in his thick northern accent, even twisting the lyrics to throw in “Look out our kid”. The Black Volvo lads then follow up with ‘Tangled Up In Blue’, which is the best track on the album. It’s a fast punk-rock hit with plenty of angst and lots of shout outs. Sounds of Swarmi match the same tenacity and aggressive nature though with ‘Tombstone Blues’. Both songs stand out greatly.
We head back into the territory of low-fi gritty punk with the next few tracks, ‘Hurricane’ stands out as Jason Stirling from Matilda’s Scoundrels fronts one of the more enjoyable back end songs, with unique spoken word style vocals and Jens Jensen‘s trademark accordion sounds. ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ is an upbeat, hard-hitting punk rock track featuring Molly from Bolshy, but then ‘Isis’ by Tim Loud is an acoustic number that calms things down a bit. The back end then remains an acoustic section.
I’ve mentioned the tracks that stand out to me, but this whole album represents a community of some of the best upcoming up punk acts in the UK at the moment. While it’s not a direct introduction to what the bands sound like, for one the Scoundrels lads weren’t playing their typical folk punk, but tt’s a fun way to discover to a big group of bands and artists you should all be checking out. So listen to Bad Dylan, and then listen to all the bands these voices represent. As for how these artists performed Bob Dylan songs? For all I care, these are the better versions considering I’m not really a fan of the original artist.
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